The best PC 2017: the best computers we’ve tested

There is a never-ending list of reasons to own one of the best desktop PCs. Gamers are well-known to enjoy the tweak-ability factor of old-school tower computers, whereas everyone else will be charmed by their lightweight pricing. That goes without mentioning that, if you already own a mouse, keyboard or monitor, you won’t have to spend as much as you would on a laptop. However, like everything else in the world, desktop PCs have changed.

Nowadays, there are computers that come with mice and keyboards. Alternatively, some are built into screens; these are called all-in-one PCs. They can’t be easily upgraded in most cases, and sometimes they’re equipped with laptop components. But, what they can do, is provide you with worthwhile performance in a convenient package. Otherwise, more conventional box computers still exist alongside more experimental innovations, like the Intel Compute Stick.

Whatever your cup of tea, we’ve devised a list of the best desktop PCs that doesn’t revolve around only one sector of the personal computing space, nor does it emphasize a particular budget. You will find below that all of our picks offer a bang-up job for the money, which itself ranges from $35 (about £25, AU$45) to $3,000 (around £2,290, AU$3,900). That way, no matter who you are, what your job is and what your hobbies are, you will find a computer that suits you.

Dell Inspiron 3000

For lack of a better description, the Dell XPS Tower Special Edition is a master of disguise. Appearing as subtle as the PC your parents hid under the desk, don’t be deceived by this boring exterior. Inside, you’ll find your choice of one of the latest high-end graphics card solutions from AMD and Nvidia in addition to a powerful Kaby Lake processor paired with plenty of hard drive and/or SSD storage. While the Special Edition of this PC is only available in the US, our readers in Australia and the United Kingdom will still be able to pick up the regular Dell XPS Tower and configure a system to the top spec.

Read the full review: Dell XPS Tower Special Edition

The Microsoft Surface Studio is one of the most glamorous PCs you can buy. It shakes up the all-in-one formula of putting all the components behind the screen, and instead moves everything to the base. The resulting device has one of the thinnest 28-inch PixelSense Displays that puts even most 4K screens to shame. What’s more, the fully-articulating stand makes it a versatile tool for work and play with Surface Pen support. All in all, the Surface Studio is an exceptional work of, and for, art.

Read the full review: Surface Studio

See more like this: The best all-in-one PCs

The Zotac Magnus EN1060 is practically as small as the Apple Mac Mini, but it’s an exponentially more powerful gaming PC, potent enough to drive virtual reality experiences. Thanks to its small size and understated features, users can place this mini PC under an entertainment center and it won’t draw attention to itself. Keep in mind, though, this system doesn’t come with storage or RAM pre-installed, not to mention it lacks an operating system, so interested users will need buy these components and software separately.

Read the full review: Zotac Magnus EN1060

The Alienware Aurora R6 is an excellent gaming PC that offers brilliant performance in a conveniently compact body. The affordable price is pretty great as well, considering the power on offer and users itching for upgrades will have room to pick up a second graphics card, plus more RAM and storage.

Read the full review: Alienware Aurora R6

See more like this: The best gaming PCs

Positioned as a “console killer,” the MSI Trident 3 looks a lot like an Xbox One X and PS4 Pro, but it’s a far more powerful PC that feels just right in your living room. Complete with all the ports you could ever dream of, the MSI Trident 3’s advantages are clear. Still, in trying to be as thin and light as possible, the MSI Trident 3 comes equipped with a 330W external power supply brick, resembling some of the least attractive console designs.

Read the full review: MSI Trident 3

Apple iMac

You wouldn’t see it coming based on the logo alone, but Apple’s latest iMac is neatly priced when compared to other all-in-one computers out there. In fact, the Surface Studio costs three times as much as the iMac to start. Despite lacking the fancy trimmings of its Microsoft-contrived competitor, e.g., a touchscreen and adjustable stand, the option for a 4K P3 wide color display and 7th-generation processor make the 21.5-inch iMac not only gorgeous, but up to date as well.

Read the full review: Apple iMac (2017)

See more like this: The best Macs

HP Pavilion Mini

Though at first you might confuse it for a fabric-woven Mac Pro refresh, the HP Pavilion Wave is anything but. This compact Windows machine packs in 6th-generation Intel Core processors and optional discrete AMD graphics with a uniquely integrated Bang & Olufsen speaker. Wrapped in a handsome fabric exterior, this is the perfect PC to have on the desk, as it radiates crisp sound while you browse the web or watch movies.

Read the first look: HP Pavilion Wave

HP 260 G1

No, this isn’t a USB thumb drive you’re looking at. The Intel Core Compute Stick might look like something you would store a PowerPoint presentation on shortly before losing it, but it’s actually a palm-sized personal computer that plugs into any screen with an HDMI port. Configurations start at a lowly 1.33GHz Intel Atom processor running Linux, and at the highest end is a notebook-class Intel Core m5 processor.

Gabe Carey has also contributed to this article

  • While you’re at it, we’ve also found the best gaming desktop PC you can buy

The best Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus deals pre-Black Friday 2017

With its huge screen, superb camera and sleek dimensions, we've branded the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus as the best big Android phone on the market. Quite the acclaim, considering some of the competition. And a much more affordable alternative to the Galaxy Note 8 and iPhone 8.

If that's got you sold, then the good news is that prices slipped slowly downwards over the summer – probably thanks to the fervour around that Galaxy Note 8 launch. We have the full rundown of the best Galaxy S8 Plus deals right here, with the cheapest prices from the major networks – EE, Vodafone and Three – and O2 launching a sub-£30pm tariff that's really got our pulses racing.

The prices on the Galaxy S8+ are lower than ever, but if they still look a little rich for your blood, then you can buy the smaller Galaxy S8 for less or head over to our best mobile phone deals page for something completely different. But if it's the Plus-sized screen that you need, then we'll find you the best deal here.

And don't forget that many retailers and networks are chucking in freebies if you buy the S8+ through them. Take Carphone Warehouse as an example, who ise offering a Samsung wireless speaker with an RRP of £99.99 with selected deals.

See also: Galaxy Note 8 deals | Galaxy S8 deals | iPhone X deals |  iPhone 8 Plus deals | Mobile phone deals | SIM only deals | Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus review 

The best Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus deals this month:

Directly below we'll take you through all of the best value Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus deals available to purchase – handy if you don't want to wait until Black Friday 2017. This page breaks down the best deals in the UK, but if you're after the US or Australian pages, go to the best Galaxy S8 Plus deals in the US page or check out the best Australian Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus deals. 

If you want a huge Android phone with market leading specifications, an incredible display and a superb camera, then the Galaxy S8 Plus is a must for your shortlist. The price might still put you off, but this is for tech fans who crave the best of the best.

Read TechRadar's full Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus review

The best Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus deals on EE

The best Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus deals on O2

The best Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus deal on Vodafone

The best Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus deals on Three

Samsung Galaxy X: the story of Samsung’s foldable phone so far

Update: A patent has shown us what the Galaxy X's interface might look like, and we've also seen another possible design for the phone itself.

Foldable phones are coming – it’s only a matter of time – and it's looking increasingly like Samsung could be the first company to commercially launch one, possibly as soon as next year.

We may even know what it’s called, with the mysterious Samsung Galaxy X being the subject of several bendable leaks, foldable patents and flexible rumors.

But whether X marks the spot or not, we’re clearly entering a foldable future. To see how we got here and where we’re going, here’s the story of Samsung’s foldable phone so far.

Six years in the making

The idea of a foldable phone isn’t new to Samsung, in fact way back in 2011 the company showed off a prototype of exactly that.

The device looked chunky and awkward, but even back then it somewhat worked, remaining intact after 100,000 folds, with only a 6% drop in brightness at the center, where all the folding action happened.

This clearly wasn’t a commercial product, but later that year Samsung launched a concept video of a fully bendable (and transparent) mobile device, that could fold out from a phone-sized screen to a tablet-sized one, showing Samsung’s ambitions for the technology.

Production problems

While a device like the one in the video above is likely still years away even now, by 2012 Samsung was already hard at work trying to launch the first generation of flexible or foldable phones, but a report late in the year claimed that problems with the production of flexible screens would hold the first bendy display back until at least 2013.

That didn’t stop Samsung showing off another video of a foldable future though, highlighting all sorts of transparent screens, made from plastic that’s thin, light and flexible enough to fully fold or roll.

And as 2012 came to a close it seemed Samsung might be overcoming its production problems, with another report claiming that its flexible plastic screens were in the final stage of development, with the first phones sporting them likely to land in mid-2013.

Samsung’s bendy plastic screens got a more real-world debut at CES 2013, along with a name – they were now called ‘Youm’, though it was clear from the flexible prototype on show that Samsung was still far from putting a Youm display on a commercial device.

That was made even more clear when the tech was reportedly hit with new manufacturing issues in April 2013. Supposedly the previous problems had been solved, but now Samsung was apparently struggling with the encapsulation technology, which protects the screen from moisture and air damage.

Round the Edge

The closest thing we actually got to a foldable phone from Samsung in 2013 was the Samsung Galaxy Round. This was far from the prototypes and concepts we’d seen, but as the world’s first curved screen smartphone it was a big step in the right direction.

That was followed up by the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge, which curved in a now more familiar direction, one which Samsung has since fully embraced with the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge and other phones with curved edges.

These are still far from being foldable, and while a Samsung executive did promise a truly bendable device by the end of 2014, whatever he was referring to never appeared.

Project Valley

Talk of foldable phones went a bit quiet until mid-2015, when it was rumored that an upcoming phone codenamed Project Valley could be foldable.

At this point little was known about the device, which would apparently have two screens, but it was said to be in early development, so was unlikely to arrive for a while, if at all.

In September 2015 an “insider” claimed that we’d see a bendable phone in January 2016. It wasn’t clear whether this was Project Valley or not, but apparently it would come in both mid-range and high-end flavors. Though, of course, it didn’t arrive at all.

Samsung Galaxy X

In May 2016 Project Valley got a new name – the Samsung Galaxy X, which was believed to be the name it would release under.

According to reports at the time it would be ready for release in 2017 and would have a foldable 4K display, so that the resolution would remain high even when the phone was folded.

We were sceptical about that launch date at the time, and still are, as it sounds seriously futuristic compared to the phones we’re using currently.

But that’s not quite the full story so far. At SID 2016 Samsung showed off a roll-out display – but one which didn’t have a touchscreen layer, which would be pretty vital for a smartphone.

Then in June “people familiar with the matter” reported that we might see two foldable phones from Samsung in 2017 – backing up those previous Galaxy X reports.

Supposedly one would fold out from a 5-inch handset to an 8-inch tablet, much like the concept video Samsung showed back at the beginning of our story, while the other would fold in half like a cosmetic compact, along the lines of a folding phone patent we’d already seen.

We still weren’t convinced, but Samsung was clearly on the right track, with another patent looking to solve one of the biggest problems with folding phones – the ability to fold without damaging any internal components.

The patent described an “artificial muscle”, which would move in time with the screen bending to protect other components.

One of our most recent looks at what might be the Samsung Galaxy X came from a patent spotted by GalaxyClub, highlighting a long device, with a shape more like a remote control than a smartphone, but one which could fold down to half the size.

The shape doesn’t seem particularly practical, so we doubt this is the form the Galaxy X will take, but it’s vaguely along the lines of the phone-to-tablet convertible we’ve been hearing about, and a similar design has popped up since.

And talk of a 2017 launch hasn't died. In late 2016 we heard rumors that a foldable Samsung phone would launch early the following year, followed by another later in the year. One of these was said to have two displays with a hinge in the middle, while the other will apparently have a single flexible screen.

More recently we've heard again that the Galaxy X will arrive in 2017, but not until the second half of the year.

According to some sources, more than 100,000 units are going to roll out in the third quarter of the year – though plans for a 2017 launch could apparently be changed.

That gels with a tweet from tipster @mmddj_china, who claims the Galaxy X will land in Q3 of 2017.

Though elsewhere we're hearing that Samsung may only have a prototype ready by then, and supply chain sources speaking to DigiTimes are even less optimistic, saying that a small production of foldable handsets will be made in the fourth quarter of the year, but technical issues may mean we don't see mass production before mid-2018.

Other sources similarly say that several thousand dual-screen prototypes might land this year, but that a commercially available product won't.

Most damningly of all, one of Samsung Display's own engineers has claimed we won't see a foldable phone for a while, saying:  “Because the bezel-free display currently sells well, we still have enough time to develop foldable display. The technology is expected to be mature around 2019.”

Although more recent news comes direct from Samsung's mobile boss, and is a little better, as he claims the company is aiming for a 2018 launch, assuming it can overcome certain unspecified problems.

The Galaxy X could essentially have two screens instead of one. Credit: KIPRIS

And most recently of all we've finally had a look at the possible interface of the Galaxy X, revealing a familiarly Samsung UI, but where each half of the display shows a different screen, rather than just making everything bigger or smaller.

This interface was shown in a patent, which also gave us another look at the possible design of the phone, showing something with a laptop-like design, but a second screen where the keyboard would be.

The shape of things to come

That brings us up to today, and while Samsung has made some commercial progress towards a flexible phone, with curved screens on the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S8, on the surface it doesn’t seem much closer overall to a truly foldable display than it did way back in 2011.

There’s lots of talk of a 2017 launch, but that’s not the first time a questionably close launch has been rumored, and with a Samsung exec pointing to 2018 that's the earliest we'd expect to see the Galaxy X.

If anything, it may arrive even later, since another Samsung employee has said not to expect the Galaxy X before 2019.

But behind the scenes promising progress does seem to have been made. Over the years several key problems in development appear to have been solved – from making a screen that can be folded thousands of times without breaking, to avoiding damage to internal components.

So we still see folding phones in our future, and maybe even the not too distant future. A Galaxy X in 2017 seems very unlikely, but we may at least have seen some shots of it before the end of the year, and a 2018 or 2019 launch looks very possible.

  • LG is working on foldable screens too

This patent shows how Samsung’s foldable Galaxy X might actually work

There have been a lot of rumors about a folding Samsung phone – known as the Galaxy X – over the years, and patents have even given us an idea of how it might look. 

But now we've got an idea of how the interface on this bendy phone might work, as GalaxyClub has come across a patent application showing a Samsung interface for a folding phone.

The accompanying images show a screen that folds in half, each section of which can contain a different home screen or menu, in portrait or landscape.

That’s as opposed to just giving you one screen and making it bigger or smaller, so the focus seems to be on fitting more on the display when the Galaxy X is unfolded.

As well as just two home screens, other examples show a list of contacts on one screen and someone’s contact card on the other, or the viewfinder for the front-facing camera on one display and for the rear one on the other, or a game on the front and the touchscreen controls for it on the rear.

Two screens are better than one

It also looks from the images like Samsung envisages having two screens (perhaps with a hinge in the middle), rather than a continuous folding display – in the same vein as the ZTE Axon M.

You could then either have the two screens side by side for a larger display, or fold it over so one screen is on the front of the phone and the other on the back. Some images also show the handset being folded in such a way that it can stand itself up.

However, it’s worth noting that the patent was filed in early 2016, and as such the interface is more in the style of a Galaxy S6 or Samsung Galaxy S7.

So it’s a bit dated and therefore the actual look of this interface almost certainly won’t make it to the Samsung Galaxy X – but some of the functionality, focus on fitting more on the screen and the design of the phone could.

And we might not even have too much longer to wait, as Samsung’s mobile boss has previously said the company is aiming for a 2018 launch for the Galaxy X.

  • Apple is also rumored to be working on a folding phone

Top Kindle cases and covers: protect your Paperwhite, Voyage and other Amazon ereaders

If you've landed here, it's likely you already have an Amazon ereader and you're looking for a way to protect your device in your bag or even while you're deep in the latest Jack Reacher novel.

That's why we're here to recommend some of the best cases and covers for each version of the Amazon Kindle that's currently on sale.

Below you'll find two cases we love for each current Kindle product, including the latest versions of the Amazon Kindle, Kindle Paperwhite, Kindle Voyage and the Kindle Oasis.

Note: we've scoured the web for all of the Kindle cases and covers out there on sale right now and here are a selection of the ones we like the look of. These have been ranked from cheapest to most expensive according to prices at time of writing. 

Best cases and covers for Amazon Kindleg

Note: the cases listed will only fit the most recent version of the Amazon Kindle, which was released in 2016 and is often referred to as one of the eighth generation Kindles.

This case comes with drop protection, so if your Kindle takes a tumble out of your hand toward the floor it should help protect the corners, edges and – thanks to its raised sides – even the screen.

You've only got a choice of pink or blue for this Kindle cover and there's no protection against scratches on your screen while it's tumbling around in your bag, but it'll protect the edges nicely.

Amazon has produced a protective cover for the Kindle that doesn't cost the earth and will make sure you don't scratch up and dent the edges and rear of your Kindle when you're reading on the move.

You can buy it in black, blue, pink or white and it gives the generally quite dull looking Kindle a big splash of color that some will love.

With a durable fabric material on the inside and an automatic wake function when you flip the case lid up, this may well be the best cover for your Kindle.

Best cases and covers for Kindle Paperwhite

Note: the cases below fit all generations of Kindle Paperwhite products, so they'll be suitable for any version of the Kindle Paperwhite ereader you own.

Again this case is from Amazon and the company has promised it's suitable for all versions of the Kindle Paperwhite, no matter when you bought your device.

The color options here are limited to blue, black, pink and white, but there are some bold choices if you're looking for a striking cover for your Kindle, and the case also comes with a cover for the screen, so you can be safe in the knowledge that it's not going to get scratched while in your bag.

If leather is the look you'd like to spread all over your ereader, this case from Amazon is likely the best choice to wrap your Kindle Paperwhite up in, and it comes in a selection of color options too.

Those colors are orange, pink, black, blue and a deep purple that we really love, plus this case isn't that expensive considering it's made of leather, giving it a premium look and feel.

Best cases and covers for Kindle Voyage

Note: the cases below fit the only generation of the Kindle Voyage, which was released back in 2014.

Another case directly from Amazon here and this one for the Voyage can be folded so you can prop up your Kindle and read without having to hold onto your ereader.

It's not the cheapest Kindle Voyage cover we've seen, but the design is durable and it'll protect the screen when you've left your ereader in your bag, so it should help you avoid having to read ebooks through scratches.

This case is largely similar to the one above, but this one comes in leather. Be warned that it isn't cheap as it's a limited edition from Amazon, but it may be what you're looking for to protect your ereader from daily wear and tear, while adding a touch of style.

It's a shame this cover only comes in brown, but it's a nice color and really shows off the high quality leather too.

Best cases and covers for Kindle Oasis

Note: the listed cases will only fit the most recent version of the Amazon Kindle Oasis that was released in 2017. They won't be suitable for the eighth generation Oasis that came out in 2016.

With the Kindle Oasis being waterproof, you'll also want a case that can take the odd splash of water too. That's why Amazon has made this water-safe Kindle Oasis cover that will snap magnetically onto the back of your super-premium ereader.

You've got limited color choices of just blue, white or black, but each looks attractive and protects the front of your Kindle Oasis too. This cover also works as a stand, as the name suggests, so you can use your Kindle Oasis hands-free.

The only downside is that while covering the front it doesn't cover (and therefore doesn't protect) the thick part of the Kindle's rear.

Our final case for the Kindle Oasis also comes from Amazon itself, and it's a fairly premium though less water-safe alternative to the cover above.

You have color choices of black or tan leather, despite the image above also showing a dark brown (as that's not currently on sale).

When you've got the Kindle open the case lets you prop it up so you can read easily, and the slim design means it won't feel much thicker than the Kindle itself.

  • Uncertain what Kindle you should buy? Check out our best ereader buying guide